Destinations > Central America > Guatemala

Currency, Exchange, Credit Cards, ATMs in Guatemala

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Currency

The official currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal (code GTQ; symbol Q), divided into 100 centavos. Available notes are in denominations of Q 100, Q 50, Q 20, Q 10, Q 5, Q 1, and 50 centavos. Coins come in denominations of Q 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

The US dollar is accepted by many businesses.

Foreign Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged for quetzals in banks, at airports or at money exchange offices (casas de cambio). It is recommended to take US dollars, since it's difficult to find places that accept other currencies (an exception may be the euro that is gaining popularity). Quetzals are difficult to exchange abroad so travelers are advised to change the spare cash to US dollars before they leave; they can do it at the airport or at a bank.

ATMs

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs; spanish: cajeros automáticos) are available throughout the country, mostly in more populated places. Most of the ATMs work on international systems such as Plus (most) or Cirrus and accept foreign credit and debit cards to obtain cash advances or make a cash withdrawal from traveler's bank account. Visa and American Express are the most commonly accepted cards at ATMs.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted by many mid to high-end hotels and restaurants or larger shops, especially in tourist areas. Many places will add a surcharge (even as high as 10%) for paying with a credit card. Most acceptable is Visa card, followed by American Express. MasterCard and Diners Club are less commonly acceptable in Guatemala.

Traveler's Checks

Traveler's checks can be cashed at most banks and occasionally at some hotels and travel agencies (at worse rates). Preferred are American Express checks in US dollars. It is not recommended to bring checks in other currencies.

Banking Hours

Typically banks are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays.




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